Day 5: A Stranger

“. . . she gave him one of those broad smiles she reserved for strangers, as if she were aware of being able to pass, in their eyes, for an ordinary woman.” ― Nicole Krauss, Great House

Strangers. They pass us everyday, every single day. Sometimes, even friends become strangers–this happens more often than not.

When everyone is moving forward with their lives, I stopped and looked at the faces, so familiar yet so distant. I singled out one of those faces and wondered, “Why did you become a stranger so quickly? I was only starting to know you and yet, you suddenly became unknowable. You have gone to a place where neither my songs nor my pleas could reach.”

Dearest Stranger,

Among all the strangers I have met in life, you are probably the most memorable. You stopped a while and even tried to make yourself known but then reality hastened its pace and you had to move on taking an untangled string of my heart with you.

I thought I knew you with the little time you and I spent and even harbored hope that when you and I finally stepped into the same place, that you would be able to pick it up where you and I left off and I could continue in the journey with you. It is reality that things don’t always go the way you planned them to be, sometimes, reality  just wishes to be stubborn and overwhelm you by going against what you wished it to be.

And so I write to you dearest stranger to somehow express this feeling of being distraught, this feeling of void, which is my fault because I let myself hope. When you said that we’d still be friends, I anchored my hope that we can be and we will be–reality check, we are not. I am afraid we won’t ever be.

When I last saw you, I tried, I really did. I looked for words that would somehow connect us again but you didn’t seem to want to re-connect. The last time I saw you, it was all I ever wanted, all the months I haven’t seen you, for me to meet you eye to eye and I thought that I’d be able to know you more but you drifted away, even as we existed in the same room, you drifted like a dead leaf blown by the gentle wind.

All I found in that room was a stranger, sitting next to me, tinkering with their new phone as if it was all they ever wanted to do. There was a big wall in between that even if I tried to climb, I’d eventually slip and fall hard rock bottom. My heart’s string untangled itself as oceans of emotions flooded my mind and my heart. All that was there where your face and your voice, the rest, a stranger who did not have any sense of familiarity, they did not have any sense of connection. It was just a shell of someone, no more than that.

However, an ample amount of bliss was felt by my being when I happened upon you again and saw that you are happy. That is what matters to me now, is that you are happy and seeing you that way, I cannot wish anything for you anymore.

So stranger, things have changed to the point where I cannot really identify you anymore. I smiled one of the most difficult smiles when I met you finally and when at last, I waited for you to get into a cab–it was goodbye. As I faced the harsh truth that we were never really friends, we are just strangers with memories.

Lisa

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